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Version 1.2.6

Version 1.2.6 has just been released. Please pay attention to changes in the installation instructions when building the LXD dashboard in an LXC container, as a new directory /var/lxdware/backups will need to be created and have the permissions changed to all the www-data user write permisions.

Version 1.2.6 brings the following changes:

  • moved local exports of backups to /var/lxdware/backups
  • added compression algorithms options to creating backups
  • added instance_only and optimized_storage options to creating backups
  • modified backup export to provide a download link
  • improved code to reduce PHP notices in error log for undefined variables and arrays
  • added htmlentities() to a few echo statements that where missing it in the PHP code
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Version 1.2.5

Version 1.2.5 has just been released. This new version brings the following changes:

  • added ability to create an instance from JSON
  • added “instance type” option to replicate cloud instance types from AWS, Azure, and GCE
  • added edit action for configuration and device information of an instance
  • improved delete function of instance. If the instance is not found when deleting, redirect to instance list
  • improved list of cluster members when migrating to include none for non-clustered host
  • added an additional custom notification for updating instance
  • UI improvements to host and project nav menu
  • fixed displaying results from exec in instances within projects other than default
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Version 1.2.4

Version 1.2.4 has just now been released. Changes in this update include:

  • Fixed bug that did not allow for operations of projects other than default being displayed
  • Fixed bug in display items in projects other than default
  • Fixed bug in actions for instances in projects other than default
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Version 1.2.3

Version 1.2.3 of the LXD dashboard has just been released. This new release includes the following changes:

  • Added the IPv4 and IPv6 address of instances to the instance list. This give the list more details about the instances, aligning it close to the output of the “lxc list” command. The OS description has been replaced with OS name, giving the table more room for the changes.
  • Added the ability to publish an image from snapshots. This gives the user the ability to choose from any snapshots of an instance can publish that snapshot to an image that can be used to create additional instances.
  • Added both OS and Release options to publishing images from both an instance and snapshot
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Adding remote hosts in the LXD dashboard

Initial setup

When you first login to the LXD dashboard you will be redirected to the Remote LXD Hosts page. Here you can setup the parameters needed to connect to the LXD servers that you plan to manage.

Help instructions are available on the Remote LXD Hosts page and can be viewed by clicking the help icon located at the top right of the table.

Client Certificate

A client certificate is generated when you first setup the LXD dashboard and is used to securely connect to your LXD servers. Click the View Certificate link to display the certificate. Copy and paste the certificate information into a new file on your LXD server named lxdware.crt.

Import the certificate by running the lxc config trust add lxdware.crt command on your server. If your server was not setup to listen for incoming connections run the lxc config set core.https_address [::] command.

Adding your LXD Server

Now that your LXD server is listening for remote connections and trusts the LXD dasbhoard certificate it is time to add in the connection details of your LXD server. Click the Add Host link to display an entry form.

The Address field can be either an IP address or FQDN of your server. LXD uses port 8443 by default to connect remotely to hosts, however the Port field can be changed for your environment. The Alias field is just a friendly string to quickly identify and differentiate your server.

Hosts Table

Once your host has been added to the table, click the link provided in the Host column to start managing your LXD server. You are not limited to the number of hosts you wish to add.

Removing hosts can be completed by clicking on the delete icon in the table. This will remove your host connection information from the LXD dashboard database. If you are removing a host be sure to also remove the client certificate from your LXD server.

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Creating a Windows Server 2019 instance in LXD

With some of the more recent updates to LXD, it is becoming easier to run Windows as a virtual machine. This how-to guide will walk through the steps to get Windows Server 2019 up and running as an LXD virtual machine.

I will be using Ubuntu 20.04 as my desktop operating system, where I already have LXD installed and initialized. I will need to install the Remote Viewer application which will be used to connect to the VGA console of the Windows virtual machine. To install it use the following command:

$ sudo apt install virt-viewer

If you don’t already have an ISO file of the operating system, Microsoft allows users to download an evaluation copy of Windows Server 2019 . You will need a license key to use beyond the evaluation period. An ISO file needed for the virtual machine can be downloaded from https://www.microsoft.com/en-US/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-server-2019?filetype=ISO. The ISO filename was very long (17763.737.190906-2324.rs5_release_svc_refresh_SERVER_EVAL_x64FRE_en-us_1.iso) so for the sake of this how-to guide, I renamed it to Server2019.iso.

In many virtual environments, the Windows operating system needs to have virtio drivers installed during the installation process to detect hardware such as the hard drive. You will need a copy of these drivers. An ISO file of the virtio drivers can be downloaded from https://fedorapeople.org/groups/virt/virtio-win/direct-downloads/stable-virtio/virtio-win.iso. The current stable version at the time of this guide is virtio-win-0.1.185.iso.

Now that we have all the necessary components downloaded let’s create the virtual machine. We will create an empty instance named win2019 and set the instance type to virtual machine. To create the instance use the command:

$ lxc init win2019 --empty --vm

Before we start the virtual machine, there are special configurations that need to be setup such as booting from the downloaded ISO files as well as allocating CPU, RAM, and disk space. We will achieve this by creating two profiles that will be attached to the virtual machine.

The first profile will set the necessary hardware resources required to run Windows. This can be adjusted for your environment. We will call this profile windows-required and configure the profile to use 2 CPUs, 4GB or memory, and 30GB of hard disk space. We will also need to turn secure boot off. For additional help on creating profiles see the guide Setting instance CPU and memory limits. To create the profile and add the necessary configurations use the following commands:

$ lxc profile create windows-required

 $ lxc profile set windows-required limits.cpu=2 limits.memory=4GB security.secureboot=false

 $ lxc profile device add windows-required root disk path=/ pool=default size=30GB

The second profile is designed to be removed once Windows is installed. This profile will contain the filepaths for the ISO images downloaded earlier. These filepaths will need to be adjusted for your environment, but will server a reference. We will also need to allow LXD read, write, and lock (rwk) access to our download location through apparmor. To create the profile and add both the Server2019.iso and virtio-win-0.1.185.iso files use the following commands:

$ lxc profile create windows-installation

 $ lxc profile set windows-installation raw.qemu="-drive file=/home/matthew/Downloads/Server2019.iso,index=0,media=cdrom,if=ide -drive file=/home/matthew/Downloads/virtio-win-0.1.185.iso,index=1,media=cdrom,if=ide"

 $ lxc profile set windows-installation raw.apparmor="/home/matthew/Downloads/** rwk,"

Both the windows-required and windows-installation profiles can now be added to the win2019 virtual machine. To add both profiles use the following commands:

$ lxc profile add win2019 windows-required
 $ lxc profile add win2019 windows-installation

Now it is time to start the virtual machine using the console option and bring up the boot menu to select the Windows ISO file as the boot device. This part can be a little tricky as you will need to press the Esc key immediately as the instance starts, similar to how you would get into the CMOS settings of a computer. Use the following command to start the virtual machine with a console:

$ lxc start win2019 --console
(Press Esc key after running command)

Select Boot Manager from the menu and then UEFI QEMU DVD-ROM QM00001 to boot. You may see the Windows “Press any key to boot from CD…” appear or it may just be a blank screen, either way press Enter a few times to begin the installation process. It will appear as those the screen has frozen, we now need to exit the console so that we can open up a new VGA console. To exit, press both the Ctrl and a keys together, then after that press the q key (Ctrl+a-q) to release the console.

The next step is to setup a VGA console connection to the virtual machine. If the Remote Viewer (virt-viewer) application is installed it should automatically open after running the lxc console command. If the application doesn’t start a spice+unix URI will be returned that can be entered into the Remote Viewer application to connect. To open a VGA console use the following command:

$ lxc console win2019 --type=vga

Click through the first few setup prompts until you get to the “Where do you want to install Windows” screen. Click the Load driver option, expand CD Drive (E:) virtio-win-0.1.185 and select E:\vioscsi\2k19\amd64. You should now see a disk drive to install the operating system on. You can also choose to install the network driver now or after login. If you choose to install the driver now, repeat the Load driver process and select E:\NetKVM\2k19\amd64.

Continue the installation process. If the disk drive is offline, click the”Windows can’t be installed on this drive” link to turn it online. When the operating system reboots you will need to reconnect to the VGA console (The screen will appear frozen). It will more than likely reboot once or twice during the installation process.

After you have logged in, finish installing the remaining virtio drivers by opening up the E:\drive and running the virtio-win-gt-x64 install package. Be sure to configure a remote connection option such as RDP or Powershell

When finished setting Windows up, power off the virtual machine and remove the windows-installation profile as it is no longer needed. To remove the profile from the virtual machine use the following command:

$ lxc stop win2019
 $ lxc profile remove win2019 windows-installation

Start the win2019 instance up and test to verify that you can connect to it’s IP address either through RDP or Powershell.

$ lxc start win2019

If you plan to use this virtual machine to spawn additional virtual machines be sure to run the Windows sysprep tool and then you can either use LXD to publish the virtual machine or copy it to a new instance.

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Version 1.2.2

Version 1.2.2 has just been released. The new changes include the following:

  • added more customized notifications
  • added icons to the action in the instance page
  • improved modals on the instance and operations page
  • clicking on profile names will now display JSON data of profile
  • clicking on image descriptions will now display JSON data of image
  • clicking on managed network descriptions will now display JSON data of network
  • clicking on instance name on instance page will now display JSON data
  • added IPv4 and IPv6 to network table
  • added the option to create stateful snapshots

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Version 1.2.1

Version 1.2.1 has just been release. Changes include:

  • improvements to the UI on the index.html page
  • set default value for possible undeclared variable in cluster-list-select.php
  • fixed DataTables reloading first page of results after table refresh
  • removed lxc executable privileges in docker builds
  • allowed for empty instances to be created with an image selection of none
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Building your own Docker image for the LXD dashboard using source code

These instructions assume you already have docker installed on your computer. LXDWARE provides a Dockerfile in the source code of the LXD dashboard allowing you to easily build your own Docker image locally.

First download the source code. We will assume you already have git installed on your computer and will use git to download the source code. You can also download the source code directly from GitHub’s web interface. To download the source code use the following command:

$ git clone https://github.com/lxdware/lxd-dashboard.git

Now change your directory to be located inside the lxd-dashboard folder. Use the command:

 $ cd lxd-dashboard

To build the docker image use the following command (don’t forget the period at the end):

$ docker build -t lxdware/dashboard:latest .

You can now use the docker run command to setup and start the docker container:

$ docker run -d --name lxd-dashboard -p 80:80 -v ~/lxdware:/var/lxdware --restart=always lxdware/dashboard:latest
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Installing the LXD dashboard using the Docker image

These instructions assume you already have docker installed on your computer. The official LXD dashboard by LXDWARE image is available on Docker Hub and can be setup on your local computer with a single command.

The docker image listens on port 80 (HTTP) to display the web-based dashboard interface. If you have network access to the IP address of your docker container, you can use that to display the dashboard. However, in this set of instructions, port 80 on your computer will be used to forward traffic to port 80 on the container. The port that your host listens on can be changed.

As with all docker containers, persistent storage needs to be configured to allow data to remain throughout restarts of your container. The dashboard uses /var/lxdware for persistent data within the container. This can be bound to any directory location on your computer. For this set of installation instructions, ~/lxdware will be used as a bind mount location on your computer.

Version 2.x.x is a multi-user application and user accounts are now stored within the container’s database. To deploy version 2.x.x docker images of LXDWARE use the following command:

$ docker run -d --name lxd-dashboard -p 80:80 -v ~/lxdware:/var/lxdware --restart=always lxdware/dashboard:latest

With version 1.x.x images, the default username for the dashboard is admin. You can set your password by using the environmental variable when first running your container. If you do not set a variable, the default password is lxdware. It is recommended that you change the ADMIN_PASS value to a secure passphrase. For version 1.x.x images use the command:

$ docker run -d --name lxd-dashboard -p 80:80 -e ADMIN_PASS="lxdware" -v ~/lxdware:/var/lxdware --restart=always lxdware/dashboard:1.2.8